Animal Update: Kittens, Kittens, And More Kittens

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(AP)

KCBS Animal Update
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(KCBS) – KCBS’ Jeff Bell talks to Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director of Veterinary Services at The San Francisco SPCA, about kittens.

Kitten season is really upon us now. The SF SPCA has new litters of kittens coming through their shelter medicine and foster programs in staggering numbers. Once they are old enough to be spayed or neutered, they are made available for adoption in Maddie’s adoption center.

For people considering adopting kittens, there are a few important things to remember. No matter where you go to adopt, from the San Francisco SPCA or another rescue or even an individual, a kitten should never be taken away from its mother until it has been weaned at about six or seven weeks of age. A mother cat is a powerful role model for her kittens and keeping litters together for the first two months gives them time to develop healthy little bodies and good socialization skills through play. If unfortunately the mother isn’t around, there are foster programs where very caring volunteers fill in the role of nurturing the kittens until they are healthy enough and large enough to be spayed or neutered which is usually about 2 lbs or 8 weeks.

Kittens, like all pets, are a commitment, but one well worth the effort. When you adopt from the San Francisco SPCA, you’ll be sent home with a lot of information about play, feeding, litterbox behaviors and more. And all kitten caretakers can benefit from the resources available about cat behavior on their website.

Now like all young animals, kittens are energetic and playful, so you may want to take down your very expensive silk curtains for a few months until your kittens mature a bit. And consider adopting more than 1, maybe littermates. Cats are social creatures and they most fully express their natures when they have a feline friend.

Animal Update airs on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM on Sundays at 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., and 9:21 p.m.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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